The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSPs) held a coordination meeting in Abuja, Nigeria in order to improve air navigation within the region.
This joint effort between the ECOWAS Commission and ANSPs was convened for the purpose of outlining an efficient strategy for promoting a safe and coordinated air navigation system in the region in compliance with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as implementing the African and Indian Ocean Satellite Network (AFISNET), Re-engineering and Modernization Project in a timely manner in order to sustain the development of the Aviation Industry in West Africa.
A statement by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja on Monday said that the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Infrastructure, Pathe Gueye, stated in his welcome remarks on Friday that the key challenges of the air navigation sector in the region included lack of reliable and affordable links between Member States, high tariff and operating costs and weakness in international competition.
He stressed the need for security and safety, adequate technical assistance and effective management of the sector to mitigate these challenges.
In her remarks on the challenges being encountered in the aviation sector within the region, Madam Finda Koroma, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, emphasized the need to change track by adopting an approach to improve viability, competitiveness and the safety and quality of the ECOWAS ANSPs.
The Vice President furthermore pointed out that the successful development of air transport in West Africa would enable Member States to fast track socio-economic development.
“Indeed, aviation should be a catalyst of socio-economic development and integration in the ECOWAS region,” she said.
Addressing the ECOWAS Commission’s Management, the Director General of Agency for the Security of Aerial Navigation in Africa and Madagascar, ASECNA,. Mohamed Moussa, expressed his optimism in the collaboration between the Commission and ANSPs to implement the Global Plan for Communication Navigation System/Air Traffic Control (CNS/ATM).
He noted that the provision of safe, reliable and accurate integrated air navigation services is essential to ensure the smooth take-off and landing controls of aircrafts as well as the growth of air transportation in the ECOWAS region.